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The Middle East Crises Trump Inherits Could Still Suck Him in
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‘Make America Great Again’ was the slogan of Donald Trump’s election, but the immediate impact of his victory is to make the US less of a power in the world for two reasons: American prestige and influence will be damaged by a general belief internationally that the US has just elected a dangerous buffoon as its leader. The perception is pervasive, but is not very deeply rooted and likely be temporary, stemming as it does from Trump’s demagogic rants during the election campaign. Those about relations with foreign countries were particularly vague and least likely to provide a guide to future policy.

More damaging in the long term for America’s status as superpower is the likelihood that the US is now a more deeply divided society than ever. Trump won the election by demonising and threatening individuals and communities – Mexicans, Muslims, Latinos – and his confrontational style of politics is not going to disappear. Verbal violence produces a permanently over-heated political atmosphere in which physical violence becomes an option. At the same time, the election campaign was focused almost exclusively on American domestic politics with voters showing little interest in events abroad. This is unlikely to change.

Governments around the world can see this for themselves, though this will not stop them badgering their diplomats in Washington and New York for an inkling as to how far Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks were more than outrageous attempts to dominate the news agenda for a few hours. Fortunately, his pronouncements were so woolly that they can be easily jettisoned between now and his inauguration. Real foreign policy positions will only emerge with the formation of a Trump cabinet when it becomes clear who will be in charge.

But, if future policies remain unknowable, super-charged American nationalism combined with economic populism and isolationism are likely to set the general tone. Trump has invariably portrayed Americans as the victims of the foul machinations of foreign countries who previously faced no real resistance from an incompetent self-serving American elite.

This sort of aggressive nationalism is not unique to Trump. All over the world nationalism is having a spectacular rebirth in countries from Turkey to the Philippines. It has become a successful vehicle for protest in Britain, France, Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. Though Trump is frequently portrayed as a peculiarly American phenomenon, his populist nationalism has a striking amount in common with that of the Brexit campaigners in Britain or even the chauvinism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey. Much of this can be discounted as patriotic bombast, but in all cases there is a menacing undercurrent of racism and demonisation, whether it is directed against illegal immigrants in the US, asylum seekers in the Britain or Kurds in south east Turkey.

In reality, Trump made very few proposals for radical change in US foreign policy during the election campaign, aside from saying that he would throw out the agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme – though his staff is now being much less categorical about this, saying only that the deal must be properly enforced. Nobody really knows if Trump will deal any differently from Obama with the swathe of countries between Pakistan and Nigeria where there are at least seven wars raging – Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and South Sudan – as well as four serious insurgencies.

The most serious wars in which the US is already militarily involved are in Iraq and Syria and here Trump’s comments during the campaign suggest that he will focus on destroying Isis, recognise the danger of becoming militarily over-involved and look for some sort of cooperation with Russia as the next biggest player in the conflict. This is similar to what is already happening.

Hillary Clinton’s intentions in Syria, though never fully formulated, always sounded more interventionist than Trump’s. One of her senior advisers openly proposed giving less priority to the assault on Isis and more to getting rid of President Bashar al-Assad. To this end, a third force of pro-US militant moderates was to be raised that would fight and ultimately defeat both Isis and Assad. Probably this fantasy would never have come to pass, but the fact that it was ever given currency underlines the extent to which Clinton was at one with the most dead-in-the-water conventional wisdom of the foreign policy establishment in Washington.

President Obama developed a much more acute sense of what the US could and could not do in the Middle East and beyond, without provoking crises exceeding its political and military strength. Its power may be less than before the failed US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan following 9/11, but it is still far greater than any other country’s. Currently, it is the US which is successfully coordinating the offensive against Isis’s last strongholds in Mosul and Raqqa by a multitude of fractious parties in Iraq and Syria. It was never clear how seriously one should have taken Clinton’s proposals for “safe zones” and trying to fight Isis and Assad at the same time, but her judgements on events in the Middle East since the Iraq invasion of 2003 all suggested a flawed idea of what was feasible.

ORDER IT NOW

Trump’s instincts generally seem less well-informed but often shrewd, and his priories have nothing to do with the Middle East. Past US leaders have felt the same way, but they usually end up by being dragged into its crises one way or other, and how they perform then becomes the test of their real quality as a leader. The region has been the political graveyard for three of the last five US presidents: Jimmy Carter was destroyed by the consequences of the Iranian revolution; Ronald Reagan was gravely weakened by the Iran-Contra scandal; and George W Bush’s years in office will be remembered chiefly for the calamities brought on by his invasion of Iraq. Barack Obama was luckier and more sensible, but he wholly underestimated the rise of Isis until it captured Mosul in 2014.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Iraq, ISIS, Syria 
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  1. ‘Make America Great Again’ was the slogan of Donald Trump’s election, but the immediate impact of his victory is to make the US less of a power in the world

    Being “great” as a nation for the people of the nation and “being a power in the world” are two very different things.

    The Soviet Union was a far greater power in the world than modern Russia, but Russia today is far greater for its people (despite – remarkably – today’s Russia still bearing the catastrophic costs of the Soviet years).

    The Middle East Crises Trump Inherits Could Still Suck Him in

    They will certainly suck him in, if he allows an inch of leeway to the likes of John Bolton and the various military and neocon interventionists with external loyalties (mostly to Israel) who did so much to destroy Bush II’s reign. They are devious, they are profoundly dishonest, they are persistent and they are very, very well connected and funded. If Trump thinks he can use their counsel on some aspects whilst resisting or controlling their ulterior purposes, then he’s like an alcoholic thinking he can just have one sip and no more.

    The danger is very real.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Cockburn didn't mention at all a huge foreign policy shift that Trump mentioned repeatedly, to make the other allied nations pay their fair share for their own defence and protection. Nations like Japan, Germany, Korea and many others have been getting a free ride and Trump said clearly this would end.

    This is not insignificant and as you have correctly pointed out, is good for the American people (who bear the costs) but bad for the American oligarchy who want to dominate the entire world for their own ruthless geo-political and greedy business interests.
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  2. The reality most often is that you can change direction, but moving the actual position significantly takes longer.

    Were there a cost-free, no-pain, immediate solution to withdrawing from the imperial quagmire!

    Read More
  3. Past US leaders have felt the same way, but they usually end up by being dragged into its crises one way or other, and how they perform then becomes the test of their real quality as a leader.

    I’m less worried about him being dragged than I am of his being pushed by some advisors.

    Trump won the election by demonising and threatening individuals and communities …

    The traditional (deplorable) Red states would have voted for a road-kill dog over Hillary Clinton. The Rust Belt Blue states were switched to Red by economics. Granted, part of economics involves immigration, but that is about competition for jobs, not racial animus.

    Read More
  4. “Trump won the election by demonising and threatening individuals and communities – Mexicans, Muslims, Latinos” (?)

    Is that like Englishmen, Muslims, and Britishers?

    Read More
  5. Screw you, you lying leftie slimey limey hack. Der Trumpster demonized and threatened only criminals…border jumpers and muzzie terrorists and the crone with the urine bag. Anyone notice how Brit hacks washed up in their own country end up over here wowing the wogs? Hitchens and the Cockburns are prime examples. Americans hear a Brit accent and they go all subservient like they are in the company of Bertrand Russell or Prince Charlie. Cockie should save his digs at Der Trumpster for the faculty lounge or his next party in the Hamptons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    No offence intended, but do you even know what a wog is?
    , @KA
    There is no good man left to choose from .
    Trump still has to shop from the existing list and go to the nearest outlet to pick his nominees for different posts . It is sad . Only the lunatic are available .It is unfortunate that whats theBible believer Christo man Evango Alcoholic Bush and his voters -supporters have done to the party and to the choices that are available out of the think tanks or the media .
    , @KA
    Do the Latinos have a right to jump the borders and come to US? May be we shall try to find the answers in the histories of the coups still etched in the lives of the children of the victims displaced murdered and vanished from Colombian western borders to the northern borders of Mexico.

    Do the Syrians and Libyans have the rights to settle in Paris or London? We should ask French gallery of 1% and their votaries (now so angry and have become La Pen supporters - )

    KARMA IS A BITCH .

    -"Back in March 2011, when France spearheaded NATO’s attacks in Libya, the pro-interventionist political scientist Dominique Moisi remarked that “the French, according to early polls, are proud again to be French.”

    Moisi shared that pride: In Libya, he maintained, “the West is defending common values, such as freedom, respect for human life and the rule of law. . . France, together with Great Britain, and with the more distant support of the US, is undeniably risking much, for it is easier to start a war than it is to end one. But it is a worthwhile risk.” consortiumnews.com

    again that Karma was a bitch .

    And that was before the 99% was told of the butchery or the existence of ISIS anywhere on the planet .

  6. Trump won the election by demonising and threatening individuals and communities – Mexicans, Muslims, Latinos – and his confrontational style of politics is not going to disappear.

    I thought I was going to be reading something intelligent but stopped after this.

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  7. In reality, Trump made very few proposals for radical change in US foreign policy during the election campaign…

    Yet again, I am constrained to quote the man’s actual words during the campaign, speaking to Republicans at the primary debate:

    “We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East — we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away — and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and everything else that is all falling apart!”

    This is not to say that Trump cannot and will not be waylaid, misled, manipulated into the same disastrous course that the USA has been following for decades. But his remarks, at least, most certainly represent a “proposal for radical change.” Keep hope alive.

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  8. More damaging in the long term for America’s status as superpower is the likelihood that the US is now a more deeply divided society than ever.

    Well, why did they make the society deeply divided by importing kebabs and spics? Trump is the inevitable result of a divided society….

    Read More
  9. President Obama developed a much more acute sense of what the US could and could not do in the Middle East and beyond, without provoking crises exceeding its political and military strength.

    I agree with the above. Our military is tired and depleted. Obama was naive to totally leave Iraq. But since then he has taken measured responses to large scale war making. At first he did many targeted killings of terrorists in many countries. To his credit in the last years that has slowed down.

    Given the Jew control over our foreign policy – he has minimized war fighting to our benefit.

    Kudos – Mr Obama.

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  10. At this point Cockburn is just being willfully ignorant. Trump has come out time and again the pointless wars in the middle east. But Cockburn, to maintain his liberal credentials, must virtue signal against Trump because Trump’s common sense domestic policy is unpopular in Cockburn’s leftist circles.

    In other words while Trump explicitly ran against Invade the World/Invite the World US policy, Cockburn thinks it’s a mortal sin to ever even think about limiting mass immigration into a country full of 320 million people.

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  11. It irks me when Hillary is presented as the lesser of 2 evils. As the UN has estimated “the Arab Spring”, the fake revolution planted in their midst has cost them US$600 billion, money that could have been put to better use.

    Trump is already backtracking, at least on some of the promises made. The whispers we hear of recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital does not augur well for peace in the area. However, the noises about Syria and working alongside Russia to bring sanity to the area is to be commended.

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  12. Trump’s motto MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN can fool jingoist like you Mr. Cockburn but not the people who were lucky to study America’s past history from some objective source.

    What Trump’s motto means, is MAKE IRAEL GREAT, because United States is an Israeli colony….

    In 2011, Dr. Lasha Darkmoon (a pen name of an Anglo-American academic, historian, poet and political activist living in England) in an article entitled, “America Vanquished: America under Jewish Rule” said that United States has been occupied by Jews, turning the US into an Israeli colony…..

    https://rehmat1.com/2011/11/04/lasha-darkmoon-america-is-an-israeli-colony/

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    • Replies: @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    You're correct. America needs to be great again.

    It should become a successful country the world aspires to be like - just like Pakistan.

    Sherm
  13. @nsa
    Screw you, you lying leftie slimey limey hack. Der Trumpster demonized and threatened only criminals...border jumpers and muzzie terrorists and the crone with the urine bag. Anyone notice how Brit hacks washed up in their own country end up over here wowing the wogs? Hitchens and the Cockburns are prime examples. Americans hear a Brit accent and they go all subservient like they are in the company of Bertrand Russell or Prince Charlie. Cockie should save his digs at Der Trumpster for the faculty lounge or his next party in the Hamptons.

    No offence intended, but do you even know what a wog is?

    Read More
    • Replies: @nsa
    Know what you have in mind but consider the meaning of the common Brit phrase "the wogs begin at Calais". Yup, wogs come in all colors.......worked for a time in Yarmouth (offshore oil/gas), and familiar with the Brits and their ways.
    , @Philip Owen
    Well, in court, when the judge reveiwing an incident in Alexandria, Egypt, asked the Sargeant Major to explain what a Wog was, the reply was "Wily Oriental Gentleman".
  14. Barack Obama was luckier and more sensible, but he wholly underestimated the rise of Isis until it captured Mosul in 2014.

    Isn’t it more probable that Isis was intentionally encouraged and supported, as a way to counter Iranian influence, greatly expanded in the aftermath of the Iraq war? Breaking the ‘Shia crescent’, and all that… Geopolitics, divide and rule…

    And I don’t think this has anything to do with Obama; I’m sure geopolitical strategies are devised in offices not controlled by ephemeral elected politicians…

    Read More
  15. @nsa
    Screw you, you lying leftie slimey limey hack. Der Trumpster demonized and threatened only criminals...border jumpers and muzzie terrorists and the crone with the urine bag. Anyone notice how Brit hacks washed up in their own country end up over here wowing the wogs? Hitchens and the Cockburns are prime examples. Americans hear a Brit accent and they go all subservient like they are in the company of Bertrand Russell or Prince Charlie. Cockie should save his digs at Der Trumpster for the faculty lounge or his next party in the Hamptons.

    There is no good man left to choose from .
    Trump still has to shop from the existing list and go to the nearest outlet to pick his nominees for different posts . It is sad . Only the lunatic are available .It is unfortunate that whats theBible believer Christo man Evango Alcoholic Bush and his voters -supporters have done to the party and to the choices that are available out of the think tanks or the media .

    Read More
  16. @nsa
    Screw you, you lying leftie slimey limey hack. Der Trumpster demonized and threatened only criminals...border jumpers and muzzie terrorists and the crone with the urine bag. Anyone notice how Brit hacks washed up in their own country end up over here wowing the wogs? Hitchens and the Cockburns are prime examples. Americans hear a Brit accent and they go all subservient like they are in the company of Bertrand Russell or Prince Charlie. Cockie should save his digs at Der Trumpster for the faculty lounge or his next party in the Hamptons.

    Do the Latinos have a right to jump the borders and come to US? May be we shall try to find the answers in the histories of the coups still etched in the lives of the children of the victims displaced murdered and vanished from Colombian western borders to the northern borders of Mexico.

    Do the Syrians and Libyans have the rights to settle in Paris or London? We should ask French gallery of 1% and their votaries (now so angry and have become La Pen supporters – )

    KARMA IS A BITCH .

    -”Back in March 2011, when France spearheaded NATO’s attacks in Libya, the pro-interventionist political scientist Dominique Moisi remarked that “the French, according to early polls, are proud again to be French.”

    Moisi shared that pride: In Libya, he maintained, “the West is defending common values, such as freedom, respect for human life and the rule of law. . . France, together with Great Britain, and with the more distant support of the US, is undeniably risking much, for it is easier to start a war than it is to end one. But it is a worthwhile risk.” consortiumnews.com

    again that Karma was a bitch .

    And that was before the 99% was told of the butchery or the existence of ISIS anywhere on the planet .

    Read More
  17. @Rehmat
    Trump's motto MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN can fool jingoist like you Mr. Cockburn but not the people who were lucky to study America's past history from some objective source.

    What Trump's motto means, is MAKE IRAEL GREAT, because United States is an Israeli colony....

    In 2011, Dr. Lasha Darkmoon (a pen name of an Anglo-American academic, historian, poet and political activist living in England) in an article entitled, "America Vanquished: America under Jewish Rule" said that United States has been occupied by Jews, turning the US into an Israeli colony.....

    https://rehmat1.com/2011/11/04/lasha-darkmoon-america-is-an-israeli-colony/

    Hey Homer

    You’re correct. America needs to be great again.

    It should become a successful country the world aspires to be like – just like Pakistan.

    Sherm

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Hi Sherm,

    Is world peace more important then a greater Israel - it is obvious that we cannot have both.

    Art

    p.s. What is the Big Jew target date for erasing all things Palestinian from human conciseness?

    p.s. As a Little Jew have you ever wondered what it is like to be free to love?
  18. But, but, Sharon ….. America could only be great if American stop abusing their women folks sexually and culturally as the Israeli Jews do ….

    Trump cannot achieve that change because Jewish Lobby has claimed him to be a rapist….

    Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman, American Jewish feminist activist, journalist and author of book, ‘The War on Women in Israel’ claims that Israeli Jews treat women like animals ….

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/05/15/8-places-jewish-women-discriminated-in-israel/

    Read More
  19. Yes, the Middle east mess could still suck us into it. I pray to god that Trumps staffs his administration with more competent people than Hillary’s people would have been.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Looking at Trump’s transition team, it seems Trump foreign policy like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will be dictated by Tel Aviv. Trump has already replaced team chief Chris Christie with his running mate vice-president-elect Mike Pence, a pro-Israel Evangelic. According to Republican sources Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a Zionist Jew, has emerged as a senior adviser on shaping next administration. The Greek-American Zionist Christian Reince Hercules Priebus is expected to be chief of staff in the Trump White House. Last year, as chairman of the RNC, he lead a party delegation to Israel.

    Jared Kushner’s father millionaire Charles Kushner was prosecuted and convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering by Chris Christie during his time as a US attorney.

    Some of Israel-First immoral Christians considered for Trump administration include Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, and Sarah Palin, and Zionist Jew David Malpass as secretary of treasury.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/11/13/trump-us-should-fight-isis-not-assad/
  20. The Jew deep state establishment are busy at it – NO peace for America!

    If Trump moves to heal ties with Russia, establishment will oppose him fiercely – Stephen Cohen

    https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/366442-trump-promises-foreign-policy/

    Trump should resist neocon & shadow gov’t influence to justify people’s hopes – Ron Paul to RT

    https://www.rt.com/usa/366404-trump-ron-paul-crosstalk/

    Read More
  21. @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    You're correct. America needs to be great again.

    It should become a successful country the world aspires to be like - just like Pakistan.

    Sherm

    Hi Sherm,

    Is world peace more important then a greater Israel – it is obvious that we cannot have both.

    Art

    p.s. What is the Big Jew target date for erasing all things Palestinian from human conciseness?

    p.s. As a Little Jew have you ever wondered what it is like to be free to love?

    Read More
  22. @The Alarmist
    No offence intended, but do you even know what a wog is?

    Know what you have in mind but consider the meaning of the common Brit phrase “the wogs begin at Calais”. Yup, wogs come in all colors…….worked for a time in Yarmouth (offshore oil/gas), and familiar with the Brits and their ways.

    Read More
  23. The US president-elect Donald Trump has angered the Organized Jewry further in an exclusive interview he gave to pro-Israel Wall Street Journal, after his election victory. He told Monica Langely, Bill Clinton’s former Jew mistress, and Jew editor-in-chief Gerard Baker that Obama administration was wrong in fighting Syrian army loyal to country’s president Bashar al-Assad that’s fighting the ISIS terrorists.

    “I have an opposite view of many people regarding Syria. United states should fight the ISIS terrorists rather than trying to ouster president Assad. My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Now we’re backing moderate rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are,” said Trump.

    Speaking about so-called ‘jihadis’ within the ranks of insurgence in Syria, Trump said: “Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria.”

    Trump, however, refused to acknowledge that the so-called “anti-Assad ISIS rebels” in fact are a creation of United States to help the Zionist entity remains the regional nuclear bully.

    No matter what Trump promises – his foreign policy would not be any different than Barack Obama especially in the Muslim world which he hates the most. His anti-war rhetoric about Syria are not because he is worried about fellow Syrian Christians but because he is afraid to start a WWIII with Russia which is one of the founders of the Zionist entity. In reality, the US military is so demoralized as result of US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc. – it’s not in position to open a new front against a nuclear power.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/11/13/trump-us-should-fight-isis-not-assad/

    Read More
  24. >undercurrent of racism and demonisation, whether it is directed against illegal immigrants in the US

    Tell me again how insisting on the rule of law is “racist.”

    Read More
  25. Cockburn writes: “Verbal violence produces a permanently over-heated political atmosphere in which physical violence becomes an option.”

    The verbal violence against whites by the Left, the endless damning, certainly has led to all the black violence we see across the nation.

    Read More
  26. @Randal

    ‘Make America Great Again’ was the slogan of Donald Trump’s election, but the immediate impact of his victory is to make the US less of a power in the world
     
    Being "great" as a nation for the people of the nation and "being a power in the world" are two very different things.

    The Soviet Union was a far greater power in the world than modern Russia, but Russia today is far greater for its people (despite - remarkably - today's Russia still bearing the catastrophic costs of the Soviet years).

    The Middle East Crises Trump Inherits Could Still Suck Him in
     
    They will certainly suck him in, if he allows an inch of leeway to the likes of John Bolton and the various military and neocon interventionists with external loyalties (mostly to Israel) who did so much to destroy Bush II's reign. They are devious, they are profoundly dishonest, they are persistent and they are very, very well connected and funded. If Trump thinks he can use their counsel on some aspects whilst resisting or controlling their ulterior purposes, then he's like an alcoholic thinking he can just have one sip and no more.

    The danger is very real.

    Cockburn didn’t mention at all a huge foreign policy shift that Trump mentioned repeatedly, to make the other allied nations pay their fair share for their own defence and protection. Nations like Japan, Germany, Korea and many others have been getting a free ride and Trump said clearly this would end.

    This is not insignificant and as you have correctly pointed out, is good for the American people (who bear the costs) but bad for the American oligarchy who want to dominate the entire world for their own ruthless geo-political and greedy business interests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    That's a slightly tricky one, because if the reference to NATO countries not "paying their way" is a coded attack on the very existence of NATO itself, then it's fine, because NATO should have been wound up nearly three decades ago once its reason for existence had disappeared, and it has only been a negative factor in international affairs ever since.

    If, on the other hand, it's a genuine attempt to get increased European military spending, then it's pretty stupid on its face. To try to argue that European NATO countries don't pay enough towards their defence is pretty absurd, bearing in mind the only plausible military threat to European NATO countries would be Russia (classifying the jihadist threat correctly, as a security matter rather than military), and the European (ie non-US) members of NATO alone spend around four times as much on the military as Russia, and include two second-strike-capable nuclear deterrent forces.

    What most of those making that case actually mean is that projecting US military and political power further into the ME, Africa and the Russian sphere (in the interests of, as you say, the US oligarchy and not either the European or the American nations as a whole) requires more money and they'd like the Europeans to fund a bit more of it.

    You could argue that China is a more plausible threat, going forwards, and Japan and South Korea should do more. That's a much more tenable position though ultimately I don't agree with that either, taking the view that Japan and South Korea would be better served coming to terms with China and accepting that in the future they will be part of a Chinese sphere rather than part of the US sphere as they currently are. While in that case more military spending would still be advisable in order to get a better place within that sphere, if they make the mistake of spending more in order to boost their power as the front lines of an aggressive US forward confrontation of China, they will risk reaping only devastation in any future limited conflicts. China is the rising power in the world, and the US's former dominance of China's neighbours based upon historical events and circumstances that no longer apply is not going to be any more tenable in the long run than was British power in central and south America in opposition to the rising US.
  27. Cockburn’s talking points for the Concerned Liberal Ladies Luncheon Meeting.

    American prestige and influence will be damaged by a general belief internationally that the US has just elected a dangerous buffoon as its leader.

    The spin of the international leftist/plutocratic elites. Bad luck that their voters don’t agree, as proved by the Brexit vote with most of them supporting Trump.

    The perception is pervasive, but is not very deeply rooted and likely be temporary, stemming as it does from Trump’s demagogic rants during the election campaign.

    Question to Cockburn, “Does he really know what a Demagogic Rant is, à la Lenin or Hitler”. So yet another MSM smear.

    More damaging in the long term for America’s status as superpower is the likelihood that the US is now a more deeply divided society than ever.

    If a country engages in decades of mass legal and illegal immigration of ethnic minorities while at the same time rejection integration as “racist pressure” do you get a more divided or less divided society?

    Trump won the election by demonizing and threatening individuals and communities – Mexicans, Muslims, Latinos.

    He won the election by talking about reducing immigration, bringing back US jobs and stopping $ trillion Middle East wars. Another smear combined with misinformation.

    Trump’s comments during the campaign suggest that he will focus on destroying Isis, recognize the danger of becoming militarily over-involved and look for some sort of cooperation with Russia as the next biggest player in the conflict. This is similar to what is already happening.

    What is already happening is that Clinton is pushing for a no-fly zone over Syria (shooting down Russian aircraft?) to enable “regime change” and maybe start WW3.

    Altogether an article with the same flavour as his father, writer Claud Cockburn’s undercover fashion leftist cooperation with the Bosheviks in the UK and Spain prior to WW2.

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  28. @NoseytheDuke
    Cockburn didn't mention at all a huge foreign policy shift that Trump mentioned repeatedly, to make the other allied nations pay their fair share for their own defence and protection. Nations like Japan, Germany, Korea and many others have been getting a free ride and Trump said clearly this would end.

    This is not insignificant and as you have correctly pointed out, is good for the American people (who bear the costs) but bad for the American oligarchy who want to dominate the entire world for their own ruthless geo-political and greedy business interests.

    That’s a slightly tricky one, because if the reference to NATO countries not “paying their way” is a coded attack on the very existence of NATO itself, then it’s fine, because NATO should have been wound up nearly three decades ago once its reason for existence had disappeared, and it has only been a negative factor in international affairs ever since.

    If, on the other hand, it’s a genuine attempt to get increased European military spending, then it’s pretty stupid on its face. To try to argue that European NATO countries don’t pay enough towards their defence is pretty absurd, bearing in mind the only plausible military threat to European NATO countries would be Russia (classifying the jihadist threat correctly, as a security matter rather than military), and the European (ie non-US) members of NATO alone spend around four times as much on the military as Russia, and include two second-strike-capable nuclear deterrent forces.

    What most of those making that case actually mean is that projecting US military and political power further into the ME, Africa and the Russian sphere (in the interests of, as you say, the US oligarchy and not either the European or the American nations as a whole) requires more money and they’d like the Europeans to fund a bit more of it.

    You could argue that China is a more plausible threat, going forwards, and Japan and South Korea should do more. That’s a much more tenable position though ultimately I don’t agree with that either, taking the view that Japan and South Korea would be better served coming to terms with China and accepting that in the future they will be part of a Chinese sphere rather than part of the US sphere as they currently are. While in that case more military spending would still be advisable in order to get a better place within that sphere, if they make the mistake of spending more in order to boost their power as the front lines of an aggressive US forward confrontation of China, they will risk reaping only devastation in any future limited conflicts. China is the rising power in the world, and the US’s former dominance of China’s neighbours based upon historical events and circumstances that no longer apply is not going to be any more tenable in the long run than was British power in central and south America in opposition to the rising US.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Latvian woman

    If, on the other hand, it’s a genuine attempt to get increased European military spending, then it’s pretty stupid on its face. To try to argue that European NATO countries don’t pay enough towards their defence is pretty absurd, bearing in mind the only plausible military threat to European NATO countries would be Russia (classifying the jihadist threat correctly, as a security matter rather than military), and the European (ie non-US) members of NATO alone spend around four times as much on the military as Russia, and include two second-strike-capable nuclear deterrent forces.

     

    Absolutely correct, and if the Trump administration were to push forward with this agenda, it would in fact constitute a racket. The US and European interests diverge. Paying one's "fair share", or rather, a reasonable amount for the territorial defense of one's own region / continent (or even to protect one's democratic space), is a non-negotiable, however, taking money out of one's treasury and putting it towards continuing to destabilize the Muslim countries and to kill more Muslims, many of whom are totally innocent (in the name of the US or Israel or whoever), is unacceptable and is not going to fly with most Europeans. The US cannot hold its empty promises over our heads and expect that we will pay with money and blood and then when the time comes to help us, the US reserves itself the right to just say "Er, sorry, no, America needs its "me" time now, bye". The Europeans have participated in the war on terror for 15 years now (started through Article 5 to defend the US), suffering a large part of the casualties (I heard up to one third) and saving American lives in the process. As we speak, another Polish soldier has just been wounded in Afghanistan (along with a terrible casualty that just took place where something like a 100 Afghanis, including babies, were killed).

    This is like D'Artagnan - you are either in all the way or you're out. There should be no wiggle room. You can put anything under the phrase "one's fair share" and demand endlessly without delivering yourself (the Russians may or may never come!). It's like an aging parent who holds her inheritance over the adult child's head, asking for all sorts of favors for years and then decides to donate it to the animal shelter. Or like a male suitor who expects sex now but wouldn't put a ring on it. It doesn't work that way.

    No, if the US wants us to pony up more money (and more importantly men, our husbands and sons) for the questionable war on terror (and I'm not saying that terror is not a security issue) it should leave NATO. The destabilization of the ME only hurts Europe (more refugees that Americans (or Russians) don't even have to accept but who are on the doorstep of Europe - not in our interests!). Jihad is a bigger threat to the US, Israel and Russia than Europe.

    Europe should form its own alliance (and maybe invite Canada, too) strictly based on territorial defense and channel the resources towards internal and border security (refugee management, strengthening of borders, social stability (incl. prevention of terror), possible threat from Russia, etc) and potentially common values (rule of law, basic liberties, etc).
  29. @Abelard Lindsey
    Yes, the Middle east mess could still suck us into it. I pray to god that Trumps staffs his administration with more competent people than Hillary's people would have been.

    Looking at Trump’s transition team, it seems Trump foreign policy like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will be dictated by Tel Aviv. Trump has already replaced team chief Chris Christie with his running mate vice-president-elect Mike Pence, a pro-Israel Evangelic. According to Republican sources Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a Zionist Jew, has emerged as a senior adviser on shaping next administration. The Greek-American Zionist Christian Reince Hercules Priebus is expected to be chief of staff in the Trump White House. Last year, as chairman of the RNC, he lead a party delegation to Israel.

    Jared Kushner’s father millionaire Charles Kushner was prosecuted and convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering by Chris Christie during his time as a US attorney.

    Some of Israel-First immoral Christians considered for Trump administration include Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, and Sarah Palin, and Zionist Jew David Malpass as secretary of treasury.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/11/13/trump-us-should-fight-isis-not-assad/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Jared Kushner’s father millionaire Charles Kushner was prosecuted and convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering by Chris Christie during his time as a US attorney.

    Gee - gosh darn - could that possibly be why Christie has been replaced on the transition team - do you think?
  30. This is Cockburn’s worst ever article. Sorry about that. He is normally quite perceptive about Middle East issues. Obviously no vision about Trump or I suppose Corbyn, Brexit etc.

    Read More
  31. […] The Unz Review: The Middle East Crises Trump Inherits Could Still Suck Him in By PATRICK COCKBURN […]

    Read More
  32. @The Alarmist
    No offence intended, but do you even know what a wog is?

    Well, in court, when the judge reveiwing an incident in Alexandria, Egypt, asked the Sargeant Major to explain what a Wog was, the reply was “Wily Oriental Gentleman”.

    Read More
  33. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3931076/Britain-deploy-batteries-high-precision-long-range-missiles-Russian-s-border-time-Cold-War.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/12/trump-putin-alliance-sparks-diplomatic-crisis/

    UK is doing its best to force a showdown with Russia and Syria
    Russia is not going anywhere It seems US’s ally may still be able to throw a big monkey wrench . Question is why . Why UK should be doing it now?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    800 troops including 25 artillerymen is not exactly an invasion force, whatever the track record of the British armies 250 years ago. Even then it was 2 200 to 50 000.
  34. @Randal
    That's a slightly tricky one, because if the reference to NATO countries not "paying their way" is a coded attack on the very existence of NATO itself, then it's fine, because NATO should have been wound up nearly three decades ago once its reason for existence had disappeared, and it has only been a negative factor in international affairs ever since.

    If, on the other hand, it's a genuine attempt to get increased European military spending, then it's pretty stupid on its face. To try to argue that European NATO countries don't pay enough towards their defence is pretty absurd, bearing in mind the only plausible military threat to European NATO countries would be Russia (classifying the jihadist threat correctly, as a security matter rather than military), and the European (ie non-US) members of NATO alone spend around four times as much on the military as Russia, and include two second-strike-capable nuclear deterrent forces.

    What most of those making that case actually mean is that projecting US military and political power further into the ME, Africa and the Russian sphere (in the interests of, as you say, the US oligarchy and not either the European or the American nations as a whole) requires more money and they'd like the Europeans to fund a bit more of it.

    You could argue that China is a more plausible threat, going forwards, and Japan and South Korea should do more. That's a much more tenable position though ultimately I don't agree with that either, taking the view that Japan and South Korea would be better served coming to terms with China and accepting that in the future they will be part of a Chinese sphere rather than part of the US sphere as they currently are. While in that case more military spending would still be advisable in order to get a better place within that sphere, if they make the mistake of spending more in order to boost their power as the front lines of an aggressive US forward confrontation of China, they will risk reaping only devastation in any future limited conflicts. China is the rising power in the world, and the US's former dominance of China's neighbours based upon historical events and circumstances that no longer apply is not going to be any more tenable in the long run than was British power in central and south America in opposition to the rising US.

    If, on the other hand, it’s a genuine attempt to get increased European military spending, then it’s pretty stupid on its face. To try to argue that European NATO countries don’t pay enough towards their defence is pretty absurd, bearing in mind the only plausible military threat to European NATO countries would be Russia (classifying the jihadist threat correctly, as a security matter rather than military), and the European (ie non-US) members of NATO alone spend around four times as much on the military as Russia, and include two second-strike-capable nuclear deterrent forces.

    Absolutely correct, and if the Trump administration were to push forward with this agenda, it would in fact constitute a racket. The US and European interests diverge. Paying one’s “fair share”, or rather, a reasonable amount for the territorial defense of one’s own region / continent (or even to protect one’s democratic space), is a non-negotiable, however, taking money out of one’s treasury and putting it towards continuing to destabilize the Muslim countries and to kill more Muslims, many of whom are totally innocent (in the name of the US or Israel or whoever), is unacceptable and is not going to fly with most Europeans. The US cannot hold its empty promises over our heads and expect that we will pay with money and blood and then when the time comes to help us, the US reserves itself the right to just say “Er, sorry, no, America needs its “me” time now, bye”. The Europeans have participated in the war on terror for 15 years now (started through Article 5 to defend the US), suffering a large part of the casualties (I heard up to one third) and saving American lives in the process. As we speak, another Polish soldier has just been wounded in Afghanistan (along with a terrible casualty that just took place where something like a 100 Afghanis, including babies, were killed).

    This is like D’Artagnan – you are either in all the way or you’re out. There should be no wiggle room. You can put anything under the phrase “one’s fair share” and demand endlessly without delivering yourself (the Russians may or may never come!). It’s like an aging parent who holds her inheritance over the adult child’s head, asking for all sorts of favors for years and then decides to donate it to the animal shelter. Or like a male suitor who expects sex now but wouldn’t put a ring on it. It doesn’t work that way.

    No, if the US wants us to pony up more money (and more importantly men, our husbands and sons) for the questionable war on terror (and I’m not saying that terror is not a security issue) it should leave NATO. The destabilization of the ME only hurts Europe (more refugees that Americans (or Russians) don’t even have to accept but who are on the doorstep of Europe – not in our interests!). Jihad is a bigger threat to the US, Israel and Russia than Europe.

    Europe should form its own alliance (and maybe invite Canada, too) strictly based on territorial defense and channel the resources towards internal and border security (refugee management, strengthening of borders, social stability (incl. prevention of terror), possible threat from Russia, etc) and potentially common values (rule of law, basic liberties, etc).

    Read More
  35. Globalization vs. Nationalism.

    People around the world have figured out that the ‘Globalization’ that was being pushed by the Bankers and the Politicians was nothing but a scam for the bankers to steal all the money. People around the world have seen life get harder and harder and harder.

    So, they say Stop. No More. They go back to what they knew before. The ‘Conservatives’ (real ones at least) argue to go back. This is a natural reaction in the people. They say “This Sucks!” and they want to go back to what they had before.

    Not that what they had before was utopia. But at least they are starting to band together against the bankers and put an end to the Class Warfare that’s been going on for the last 30-40 years, and which the Bankers were clearly winning and grabbing all the money.

    So, in the US with Trump, when it was clearly (at least on the surface) an election between Trump the outsider and Hillary with her Goldman-Sach connections, the bankers lost. Just like in the UK where the Bankers also lost the Brexit vote. The Bankers lost in Greece too, but the people got conned in that the people who seemed to be opposed to the Bankers were actually working for/with the bankers. Even with Obama, the American people wanted and voted for Change and Hope, but they also got conned that time around too.

    Hope we didn’t get fooled again. But anyone is better that Hillary.

    Read More
  36. @Rehmat
    Looking at Trump’s transition team, it seems Trump foreign policy like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will be dictated by Tel Aviv. Trump has already replaced team chief Chris Christie with his running mate vice-president-elect Mike Pence, a pro-Israel Evangelic. According to Republican sources Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a Zionist Jew, has emerged as a senior adviser on shaping next administration. The Greek-American Zionist Christian Reince Hercules Priebus is expected to be chief of staff in the Trump White House. Last year, as chairman of the RNC, he lead a party delegation to Israel.

    Jared Kushner’s father millionaire Charles Kushner was prosecuted and convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering by Chris Christie during his time as a US attorney.

    Some of Israel-First immoral Christians considered for Trump administration include Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, and Sarah Palin, and Zionist Jew David Malpass as secretary of treasury.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/11/13/trump-us-should-fight-isis-not-assad/

    Jared Kushner’s father millionaire Charles Kushner was prosecuted and convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering by Chris Christie during his time as a US attorney.

    Gee – gosh darn – could that possibly be why Christie has been replaced on the transition team – do you think?

    Read More
  37. Only garbage can proceed from the false premise that Trump is a “dangerous buffoon” who is the source of “demagogic rants”. Cockburn is repeating the lies of the corporate media and projecting them onto international opinion. Cockburn is a fool. Shun him.

    Read More
  38. @KA
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3931076/Britain-deploy-batteries-high-precision-long-range-missiles-Russian-s-border-time-Cold-War.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/12/trump-putin-alliance-sparks-diplomatic-crisis/

    UK is doing its best to force a showdown with Russia and Syria
    Russia is not going anywhere It seems US's ally may still be able to throw a big monkey wrench . Question is why . Why UK should be doing it now?

    800 troops including 25 artillerymen is not exactly an invasion force, whatever the track record of the British armies 250 years ago. Even then it was 2 200 to 50 000.

    Read More
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